Star Spica


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Star Spica

The star Spica is also called α Virginis and is the brightest star in the constellation Virgo. It is one of the hottest stars with a surface temperature of 22,000 degrees.

Facts about Spica

Spica is a spectroscopic binary stars (A/B) and also an ellipsoid variable star. So Spica A is a pulsation variable star whose brightness changes every 4 days between 0.92mag and 0.98mag. But this small variation in brightness is hardly noticeable to the human eye. Both components of Spica can be assigned to spectral type B. Thus the two stars belong to the hottest and therefore bluest of the bright stars in the night sky. The star Spica shines more than 13,000 times brighter than the sun. Furthermore, its radius is 7.8 times the radius of the Sun and the mass of the brighter star is 11 times the Sun. Furthermore the distance to Spica is about 271 light years. Soon Spica will develop into a red giant, because it already belongs to the older stars. Because such hot and massive stars like Spica are very wasteful with their hydrogen supply, they live only about 10 million years.